Governor Patrick’s office submitted six individuals as nominees for four seats on the New England Fishery Management Council. In late January, the Division of Marine Fisheries initiated a three-week solicitation for candidates to the Council and received complete applications from nine interested persons.  

The New England Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional councils that manage our nation’s marine fisheries seaward of state territorial waters. Responsibilities include the development of fishery management plans that are submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation.

The four seats that are open are currently held by James J. Fair, Jr., of Massachusetts and Mary Beth Nickell-Tooley, of Maine, who are completing a first term; Michael P. Leary, of New Hampshire, who is completing a second term; and John W. Pappalardo, of Massachusetts who is completing a third consecutive term and is thus ineligible for re-nomination to a fourth consecutive term.

Final selections for these seats are made by the Secretary of Commerce and are expected to be announced this summer.

The following is a letter pdf format of Patrick Administration Letter to NOAA Fisheries submitted on behalf of the Governor by Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray to Eric Schwaab, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at the National Marine Fisheries Service.

For further information on the Council and the Council process, please visit